The Prime Minister failed to explain away the series of educational debacles created by his Government when speaking on "The Nation" this weekend, the Green Party said today.
"His attempt to spin the National Standards policy as a success by claiming schools now talk to him about "higher achievement" shows he is out of touch with both parents and teachers struggling with narrower reporting and a narrowed curriculum," said Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.
"He needs to produce better evidence that National Standards and their publication have done anything positive given the research of Professor Martin Thrupp, which shows the opposite.
"The Prime Minister also tried to spin the failed class size increase policy as "lost in translation" and withdrawn to avoid strikes, which is a brave attempt but New Zealand parents know that their opposition to this Treasury initiative killed it dead.
"His comments on this issue show that National still believes in larger classes but they have learned that it cannot be sold to voters.
"His comment that the most important issue for education is professional development for teachers is disingenuous given that professional development in the primary sector has been narrowed to a focus on National Standards and the Government have a Bill before the House promoting unregistered teachers in Charter schools.
"His comments reflect a contradictory and damaging agenda on education.
"The Christchurch school "consultation" and Novapay chaos add a dimension of incompetence, which cannot be justified.
"The Green Party believes in quality public education and we support state schools to innovate to meet the needs of all our children. We believe that there are examples of best practice to be celebrated and shared as schools work to mitigate the increasing inequality across our country."